A presentation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency at a working session of the Manassas City Council meeting last evening has resulted in a draft plan to have Manassas obtain training for corrections personnel under the 287(g) program. The intent would be to process illegal immigrants who are detained or incarcerated by the city for deportation. This is a big win for Manassas, and Councilman Jackson Miller deserves kudos for working with other members of the council and the city police department to find a workable means of implementing this program in Manassas. If this initial pilot goes well, larger participation by the Manassas City Police Department is virtually assured.
Apparently this draft plan includes participation by the Prince William County Police Department, making this a regional effort. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors requested a staff report on the subject with a due date of the 24th. I haven’t seen the report, but apparently efforts to coordinate the efforts of multiple jurisdictions have been successful to some degree. A regional approach to illegal immigration is sorely needed, and starting with the corrections department is a solid first step.
I would have liked to see Manassas take a more agressive approach, but with the concerns of Chief Skinner (Manassas) and Chief Deane (Prince William County) about exactly how the 287(g) program should be implemented it probably makes sense to take a first step that may be a bit more conservative. After completing this first step, we can then implement the program more fully later on using the experience gained in this first step as a guide. The temptation to use this as campaign fodder by seeking an all-or-nothing approach must have been considerable, but in finding compromise Jackson Miller has again demonstrated a willingness to compromise in order to find solutions that will work and that both sides can get behind.
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